After this lesson, each girl should be able to
* Tell five facts about the Netherlands.
* Briefly describe Judy Mensch's work in the Netherlands and why it is important.
* Suggest a way she can assist in Judy's ministry.
BEFORE THE MEETING
* Bring materials to make Dutch Designs and play Hul Gul.
* Prepare ontbijtkoek and patajes to serve at the meeting.
Let the girls show the Dutch Designs they made and provide supplies for those who did not bring one from home. Talk about the Dutch sayings and the math question before playing a round of Hul Gul. Afterward let the girls sample ontbijtkoek and patajes with mayonnaise.
Judy Mensch was born in New York City and grew up in a Reformed Jewish home. She was taught the traditions of the Jewish religion, but she did not understand that Jesus is the Son of God who paid the price for her sins. As a teenager, she had no desire to follow any religion.
Her life changed dramatically when she was 20 years old. The Holy Spirit touched her heart, and she knew that Jesus died to be her Savior. She opened her heart to Him and told Him she would go wherever He led. She went to Northpoint Bible College (formerly Zion Bible College) and then began working with children as an evangelist and pastor. For eight years she taught classes at Northpoint to help others learn how to share the gospel with children.
"My mother loved being around people and was very social," Judy says. "My father wrote plays that we performed while he tape recorded them. With this background, I understood that with any age group, the presentation of the Word of God should be simple, direct and even fun."
While working in ministry, Judy made several overseas trips to promote community evangelism and ministry to children and families. Slowly she realized God was drawing her to the Netherlands to serve as a missionary. Since late 2006, she has called the Netherlands her home.
While trying to adjust to the lifestyle in the Netherlands, Judy made several discoveries: the Dutch language is difficult to learn, the cheapest brand of chocolate is better than very expensive brands in the United States, and most people drink coffee all day. She also learned that children love drama, games and stories just as they do in the United States. With a team of other believers, she helped start an after-school Bible club called KIDZARK to reach children in the city of Zandaam.
"We were pleasantly surprised to draw some 35 children the first month," Judy recalls. "Half of them weren't even from our church."
In only five months, attendance grew to 60, with one-third of them from another religion that does not believe in Jesus. Even grown-ups became interested. Instead of dropping off their children for the two-hour program, some mothers stayed and listened.
Soon Judy became even busier as she hosted missions teams from the United States, helped write Bible lessons, taught at a Bible college, and helped with a Master's Commission ministry in Amsterdam.
Along the way, Judy became more and more comfortable with the Dutch language. But that didn't mean the communication process wasn't bumpy-and even funny-at times.
"Once when I was in the supermarket, I asked where they kept the canned rabbit instead of canned tuna. In Dutch, tuna is ‘tonijn' and rabbit is ‘konijn,'" she said. "The store clerk looked very confused and didn't know how to answer me. Because of his expression, I knew I had made a mistake. Another time I was telling a group of people that I was feeling rested and calm. I simply said, ‘Ik ben roestig.' What I should have said was ‘Ik ben rustig.' Instead of saying I felt calm, I actually said I felt rusty!"
In addition to teaching, writing and hosting, Judy also enjoyed another opportunity she was given: being a tour guide.
"I help give tours at the Corrie ten Boom house in Haarlem," she says. "The ten Boom family hid Jews in their home during the Holocaust. They were part of the Dutch resistance but were arrested and put in concentration camps. Corrie survived and was released when she was 53 years old. For more than 30 years afterward, she went around the world telling about God's love and forgiveness. The tours are an hour long, and during that time I get to tell the most beautiful story in the world-how God is greater than any circumstance. How cool is that!"
In 2011, Judy began her latest ministry endeavor: sharing the gospel through drama. At KIDZARK Familie Theater, adult and teenage Christians can audition to be part of a traveling drama team that performs in churches all over the country.
"This ministry is a great way to come alongside and help local churches," Judy says. "The plays we perform are intended to reach families in their communities and connect them to God's principles."
This ministry is proving to be quite effective in introducing people to the love of God. Along with KIDZARK Familie Theater, Judy has also opened a theater outreach for children, called KIDZARK Kindertheater.
"The school is open to all children, and our goal is that it will draw boys and girls from the neighborhood," she says. "We have lessons and rehearsals and then perform a show at Christmastime. We pack the house and have a blast in the process."
Drama ministries, teaching, speaking and writing demand a lot of time and energy. But when Judy sees the excitement on children's faces or hears how someone's life has been changed, the reward is worth all the effort. She is grateful to serve in the Netherlands, sharing the greatest story ever told.
End this lesson by praying for Judy and her ministry in the Netherlands. Discuss ways your club can assist in her drama ministry.
(For more information about Judy and her ministry, check out judymensch.com.)